NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


色鍋島 Iro-nabeshima Iro-Nabeshima (Colored Nabeshima Ceramics)

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Iro-Nabeshima (Colored Nabeshima Ceramics) is a kind of Imari-Arita ware. It is characterized by delicate and elaborate pictures with the motifs of Kachofugetsu (flowers, birds, wind, and moon).

The origin of Imari-Arita ware dates back to 1604 (the early Edo period), when a Korean potter, Li Sanpei discovered fine porcelain stone at Mt. Izumi in Arita. Later in the 1640s, the hand-painting techniques were introduced to this region from China, and Imaemon I started to make hand-painted porcelain in Arita.

The kiln of Imaemon I became the feudal property of the Nabeshima domain, where the products solely used for the Nabeshima family and as the gifts to the Shogun or the fellow daimyo were being made. Directly controlled and supported by the Nabeshima family, the porcelain produced at this workshop developed into refined ceramic called Iro-Nabeshima.

In around 1874, when the feudal restrictions were removed after the Meiji restoration, Imaemon X started handle all the production steps, not limited to overglaze painting and established the advanced akae (overglaze painting with red pigment) techniques. Keeping conformity to traditional standards and elegance, Imaemon XIII was eager to create works that fit modern living settings and was designated as a Living National Treasure in 1989. Today, the traditional forms and creativity of an artist living in this modern world is exquisitely blended by the hands of Imaemon XIV.

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Iro-Nabeshima (Colored Nabeshima Ceramics)

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